Novak Djokovic - US Open 2023

Novak Djokovic ‘achieving the impossible’ says Grand Slam legend

Novak Djokovic is achieving ‘impossible’ things says former coach and Grand Slam legend Boris Becker, who believes his accomplishments now transcend tennis.

Djokovic has had a simply phenomenal year, winning three Grand Slams and reaching the final in the other.

He has also broken or extended a spate of records, including becoming the first player to spend 400 weeks at world number one, win 40 Masters titles and the first man to win 24 majors.

Becker helped him win three of those majors, and he continues to be in awe of just how remarkable the Serbian is.

“For me, he is the lion king,” Becker told Eurosport Germany’s ‘Das Gelbe vom Ball’ podcast.

“We do our best to teach tennis fans what is impossible to teach: What this player has won in his 16- or 17-year career and that he is perhaps playing his best tennis at the age of 36.

“He has won three Grand Slam tournaments this year and reached the final at Wimbledon – he was close to the calendar Grand Slam at the age of 36. This is out of this world!

“He plays two and a half hours in Paris on Thursday, three hours against Rune on Friday, another three hours against Rublev – a normal person gets tired, Novak gets better and then beats a strong Dimitrov in straight sets in the final. He then does the same again at the ATP Finals.”

Is Novak Djokovic the greatest sportsman in the world?

There can be little doubt anymore given the statistics – as well as what we are seeing with our own eyes – that Novak Djokovic is the best within his own sport.

However, is he so good that his reputation transcends tennis?

Becker believes it should and he wants to see Djokovic mentioned in the same breath as, and given the same respect and recognition as, the greats of other sports.

“Maybe you have to look at it more generally and he’s not just the best tennis player at the moment, but the best sportsman,” Becker said.

“I want to compare him to a Lionel Messi, a LeBron James and a Tom Brady – for me, that’s the category Novak Djokovic is in, because all these athletes are dominating or have dominated their sport even in their mid or late thirties. Djokovic does the same.

“I hope he continues to do so for a long time, because nothing better can happen to young players than to compete on the same level as the most successful player of all time. That’s the best lesson in tennis.”

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.